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Charles Ross is one of those apples which looks exactly like an British apple should. Red and yellow streaks on the skin this is a slightly larger than an average apple.

It was raised by Charles Ross head gardener at Welford Park, Newbury, Berkshire who originally named it Thomas Andrew Knight after the president of the London Horticultural Society (1811 to 1838). Under that name it was awarded the RHS Award of Merit in 1899. Renamed Charles Ross also in 1899, it was also awarded an RHS First Class Certificate. In 1993 it was awarded the Award of Garden Merit.


PARENTS OF CHARLES ROSS


The parents of Charles Ross are Peasgood's Nonsuch and Cox's Orange Pippin.



APPEARANCE, TASTE AND CHARACTERISTICS OF CHARLES ROSS


Charles Ross is in pollination group 3 and is partially self-fertile. The majority of other apples are in groups 2, 3 and 4 so it makes a good pollination partner for many popular apples. It will produce a better crop with a suitable pollination partner nearby as will be the case in most urban areas.

Charles Ross is a true dual purpose apple tree making it good as a sweet dessert apple and also a reasonable cooker. When cooking it retains some texture not quite turning to apple sauce texture, good for crumbles and pies. If picked slightly before it is ripe it will mush down even further. Because it has lots of sweetness be sparing when adding extra sugar if cooking.

It has great looks, resembling a larger version of Cox's Orange Pippin.

Charles Ross apple

In normal conditions Charles Ross apples are ready for picking from mid September and keep for a couple of months. In storage it does tend to loose some of its sweetness and flavour but is still a very pleasant apple for a month or so. The flavour is slightly sweeter than normal, an apple the children will love although half an apple will probably be sufficient!

GROWING CONDITIONS FOR CHARLES ROSS


For those looking to exhibit apples at their local show then this is a top variety for that purpose. It has reasonably good resistance to scab and stands late frosts well. It produces a good crop of apples reliably each year.

If you live in windy parts of the North of England or Scotland then this variety will not let you down. It does best in a slightly alkaline to neutral soil compared to most varieties and will tolerate chalky soils well. Charles Ross growth rate is average compared to other varieties and a standard pruning regime will suit it just fine.

Charles Ross apple, cut and lower view
Charles Ross apples

 Above pictures from public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v2.0.

BUYING A CHARLES ROSS APPLE TREE


This variety of apple tree is readily available from a variety of online suppliers. You will be hard-pushed to find it at most garden centres although it does make an appearance occasionally.

PEST AND DISEASE CHARLES ROSS APPLE TREE


Overall the disease resistance is good and it has very good resistance to apple scab which makes this variety a good choice for some wetter areas where this disease is a problem.

Charles Ross is prone to the apple capsid bug in some locations of the UK. These are small light green bugs which eat the foliage and leave holes in it which are brown round the edges. Under normal conditions the damage is just cosmetic to the leaves and has little effect on the productivity of the tree.

However, these bugs can also damage the young fruit as they are forming and this results in the fully formed fruit having very light brown raised marks on the skin. It is not a sign of infection but rather a reaction of the growing fruit to the damage done when it was young. The good news is that this is also purely cosmetic and does not affect taste or keeping qualities. If the apples are peeled it can be seen that the damage is only skin deep.

SUMMARY CHARACTERISTICS OF CHARLES ROSS



USE
: Excellent eaten fresh from the tree, good as a cooker

SKIN COLOUR / TEXTURE: Mainly red and streaked orange and green

FLESH COLOUR: Classic white

TASTE AND TEXTURE: Nicely sweet

FRUIT SIZE: Slightly larger than average

SUITABILITY FOR CORDON / ESPALIER GROWTH: Yes

TREE SIZE: Average size depending on rootstock and condition, spreading habit

REGULARITY OF CROPPING: Very regular

POLLINATION: Group 3, self-fertile but does even better with a suitable pollination partner

AWARDS: RHS AGM in 1993

SPECIAL FEATURES: Dual purpose, good scab resistance

FLOWERING AND FRUITING TIMES:


The average flowering time (optimum time for pollination) and date when fruits are ripe in the UK for the Charles Ross apple tree are set out below. If you have set your home town we can give you a more accurate estimate, if you have not set your home town (do it now by clicking here) the dates below will be the average for the UK.

Your town has not been set, the average main flowering time for Charles Ross in the UK is the first week of May. Fruit will be ready for picking in mid September. Click here if you want to set the dates to your home town.

Flowering and fruit picking dates vary according to the weather in any particular growing season so the above dates may well change slightly from one year to the next. The flowering date above is when the apple tree produces the maximum number of blossoms, it will also produce blossom, although less, a week or two either side of the date given.

The full list of apple tree varieties which we have reviewed is listed below. Select any one of them and then click the "More Information" button to be taken to the in depth review:


 


COMMON POLLINATION PARTNERS FOR CHARLES ROSS


Charles Ross is in pollination group 3, self-sterile and needs a pollination partner. Suitable pollination varieties include the following:
  • Alkmene - pollination group 2, self-sterile, eater
     
  • Arthur Turner - pollination group 3, self-sterile, cooker
     
  • Beauty of Bath - pollination group 2, self-sterile, eater
     
  • Bountiful - pollination group 3, self-sterile, cooker
     
  • Braeburn - pollination group 4, self-fertile, eater
     
  • Charles Ross - pollination group 3, partially self-fertile, cooker and eater
     
  • Court of Wick - pollination group 3, self-sterile, eater and cooker
     
  • Devonshire Quarrenden - pollination group 2, partially self-fertile, cooker
     
  • Discovery - pollination group 3, self-sterile, eating and cider
     
  • Dumelows Seedling - pollination group 4, self-sterile, cooker
     
  • Egremont Russet - pollination group 2, partially self-fertile, eater and cooker
     
  • Ellison's Orange - pollination group 4, partially self-fertile, eater
     
  • Falstaff - pollination group 3, self-fertile, eater
     
  • Fiesta - pollination group 3, partially self-fertile, eater
     
  • Gala - pollination group 4, partially self-fertile, eater
     
  • Golden Delicious - pollination group 4, partially self-fertile, eater and cooker
     
  • Granny Smith - pollination group 3, self-fertile, eater and cooker
     
  • Greensleeves - pollination group 2, self-fertile, eater, cooker, juice
     
  • Grenadier - pollination group 3, partially self-fertile, cooker
     
  • Honeycrisp - pollination group 4, self-sterile, eater
     
  • Howgate Wonder - pollination group 3, partially self-fertile, cooker and eater
     
  • Idared - pollination group 2, self-sterile, eater
     
  • James Grieve - pollination group 3, partially self-fertile, cooker and eater
     
  • Katy - pollination group 3, self-sterile, both
     
  • Kidds Orange Red - pollination group 3, self-sterile, eater
     
  • King of The Pippins - pollination group 4, partially self-fertile, eater and cooker
     
  • Lanes Prince Albert - pollination group 4, self-sterile, cooking
     
  • Laxtons Fortune - pollination group 3, partially self-fertile, eater
     
  • Laxtons Superb - pollination group 4, partially self-fertile, eater
     
  • Lord Derby - pollination group 4, self-sterile, cooker
     
  • Lord Lambourne - pollination group 2, self-fertile, eater and cooker
     
  • Newton Wonder - pollination group 4, partially self-fertile, cooker
     
  • Rajka - pollination group 4, self-sterile, eater
     
  • Red Falstaff - pollination group 3, self-fertile, eater
     
  • Reverend W Wilks - pollination group 2, self-fertile, cooker
     
  • Scrumptious - pollination group 3, self-fertile, eater
     
  • Sops in Wine - pollination group 3, self-sterile, juicer
     
  • Spartan - pollination group 3, self-fertile, eater
     
  • Sunset - pollination group 3, self-fertile, eater
     
  • Tydemans Late Orange - pollination group 4, self-sterile, eater
     
  • Waltz - pollination group 3, self-sterile, eater
     
  • Winston - pollination group 4, self-fertile, eater
     
  • Worcester Pearmain - pollination group 3, partially self-fertile, eater